Smash Hit Chinese-Korean Restaurant Chiko Will Open in Bethesda This Winter

Expect more Szechuan hot fried chicken sandwiches and pork-kimchi pot-stickers.

On Chiko's Restaurant Week menu: brisket with rice (left) and cumin lamb noodles. Photograph by Scott Suchman

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“Fine-casual” Chinese-Korean restaurant Chiko will open its third DC-area location in Bethesda this winter. The popular spot, which just won a RAMMY award for “casual restaurant of the year,” will take over the former Prima space at 7280 Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda Row. (The latter restaurant closed in April due to Covid.)

Fried Rice Collective founders Drew Kim and chefs Danny Lee and Scott Drewno opened the first Chiko on Capitol Hill in 2017, followed by branches in Dupont Circle and Encinitas, California. The team is also behind Korean restaurant Anju in Dupont. Chiko Bethesda’s menu will mirror the DC locations with punchy dishes such as Szechuan hot fried chicken sandwiches, pork-kimchi pot-stickers, wok-charred noodles, and Wagshal’s chopped brisket bowls. The restaurant also offers a variety of vegetarian and gluten-free alternatives, plus options for kids. Even before the pandemic, Chiko ran a robust takeout and delivery operation in addition to dine-in, which included a higher-end chef’s counter in Capitol Hill.

Chiko won’t be the only exciting newcomer in the Federal Realty development. Restaurateur José Andrés announced yesterday that he’s transforming the longtime Jaleo location into Spanish Diner, a branch of his all-day Spanish comfort food destination in New York’s Mercado Little Spain. The diner, serving homey dishes like olive oil-fried eggs and Ibérico pork meatballs, is slated to open in spring of 2021.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.